Magnolia Gardens

Last week, Tor and I finally had the chance to visit Charleston and the first stop on our visit was Magnolia Gardens and Plantation. I told Tor that I wanted to squeeze in at least one plantation on our visit, since I had never seen one in person before. Thanks to so many recommendations from readers and a friend of mine who lives in South Carolina, we were told a visit to Magnolia was a must.

Sea NY dress (old, similar here and here), Chanel bag (similar here), Carrie Forbes sandals (similar here and here, last seen here), Jo Malone Star Magnolia perfume

 

After a 5 hour drive in from Atlanta where Tor is currently filming The Originals, we had enough time to visit one plantation in the late afternoon. After dropping off our bags at our hotel Zero George (stay tuned for a blog post about our stay there!), we hopped back into our car and drove 20 minutes west to Magnolia Gardens and Plantation. Many people told us that we needed to visit the gardens, so we made that a priority.

Magnolia Gardens are the oldest romantic gardens in the country. Before our visit, I didn’t understand what truly encompassed a “romantic garden.” It was easy to see why right away. The gardens looked like they were straight out of a fairy tale, especially all the live oak trees which are not common in NJ (where I am from) or Southern California. I kept remarking to Tor that I felt like I had stepped into a storybook and that we were the naive young prince and princess in love frolicking about.

Alyssa Campanella of The A List blog visits Magnolia Gardens and Plantation in Charleston wearing a yellow Sea NY dress

While walking through paths completely covered by beautiful trees, there’s also a beautiful lake in the middle of the gardens. Unfortunately once I saw signs that alligators live in those waters, Tor knew I wouldn’t be able to relax. We didn’t see any alligators on our excursion, but of course every time anything in the water made any sound, I would jump three feet back. We caught some of my silly nerves on video, which we will try to include in our upcoming travel vlog if it’s not too embarrassing!

Despite me wanting to visit a plantation for so long, in the end we actually ended up skipping entering the house. Despite the house burning during the Civil War, Magnolia Plantation certainly has a history. The house and the first garden were founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, and 15 generations later the property is still run by the Draytons. Originally, the plantation was a rice plantation. Not long before the Civil War, the gardens were reworked into the English style, including a romantic long bridge that was built in the 1840s. As with almost every Southern plantation, Magnolia Gardens has a history of slavery. In fact, a few buildings that housed slaves are still standing on the property. We didn’t get the chance to go inside them, but there are tours that can show you the inside and give you a peek into the lives of those who lived and worked there. The slaves at Magnolia were very skilled gardeners, which is still evident and helped Magnolia’s gardens become what they are today.

If you get the chance to visit Charleston, I highly recommend a stop at Magnolia Gardens. They truly are romantic and unlike anything else I had wandered through. The house is also full of history, so if you have time to take the house tour then you definitely should. And for those who are animal lovers like us, there’s a mini zoo on the property featuring miniature horses, peacocks, and more.

Stay tuned for the next posts about our Charleston visit!

Alyssa Campanella of The A List blog visits Magnolia Gardens and Plantation in Charleston wearing a yellow Sea NY dress

Photos by Torrance Coombs.

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15 Comments

  1. Editha Herrmann

    Hello Alyssa,
    I can not await the next blog with the pictures. You look wonderful in the yellow dress.

    many greets

    Editha ❤️

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Thank you!

      Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  2. Soo pretty!There’s a drive in Savannah with the trees like this and it’s stunning! Charleston is one of my favorite cities and I’ve never been to a plantation there! I’ll have to put it on my list!
    Kenzieblogslife.wordpress.com

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
    • The A List

      We visited Savannah on this trip too! It’s coming in a blog post later this week! And I agree, Charleston is also one of my favorite cities now 🙂

      Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  3. Maya

    Great that you have had fun. But did you recognize that you have taken picture of one alligator? I get really scared when I noticed it. Check the picture just below of the text where you write about alligators. I’m so glad that you didn’t meet that one when you were at the garden.

    PS. The yellow dress is really beautiful and you look lovely in that 🙂

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
    • The A List

      It’s a log! Trust me, when I saw that log in person I thought it was an alligator too and I freaked out haha!

      Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  4. Ariana

    I love that photo with those two butterflies. They look amazing! photographed perfectly. The gardens looked like they really did belong in a book of fairly tales! just stunning. I am very much looking forward to more blog posts from this visit of yours!

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Thank you, Ariana! Tor captured them beautifully!

      Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  5. Halie

    I absolutely love reading through your posts, discovering a place through you before I myself can visit it.

    I am also pleased to see that you acknowledged the slaverly that once took place here. I was a little worried, upon beginning the post, that you might not. I also adore how you accredited the enslaved with the gardens and not the people who called themselves their owners.

    You’re absolutely stunning, as always. 💋

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
    • The A List

      I knew from the beginning that discussing any plantation would be a touchy subject due to the history of slavery at most of them. The fact is, back in those days, it was slaves who tendered to and took care of these gardens. That’s something that cannot be ignored.

      Posted 9.27.17 Reply
  6. Shirley Ozment

    Thank you for sharing. I live in North Catolina and have been to Charleston but never made it to the plantation. Thanks for the lovely photos! I love your dress!

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Thank you, Shirley! I hope you get the chance to visit one someday soon 🙂

      Posted 9.27.17 Reply
  7. Shelley

    My husband and I are going to be in Charleston this weekend! It will be our first time in many years so we may try to go to this plantation and gardens. We have been to Boone Hall before and wanted to go see how it has

    changed. Thank you for your suggestions. Looking forward to seeing what else you recommend.

    Posted 9.27.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Tomorrow our itinerary for Charleston will go up as well as our travel guide. On Friday we will share more about our hotel.

      Posted 9.27.17 Reply
    • The A List

      Whoops, I mean our post on our hotel goes up tomorrow but our travel guide will too. Our itinerary post goes up on Friday! I hope you guys have a great time!

      Posted 9.27.17 Reply